History of the Denver Marching Knights
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The Marching Knights were founded in the summer of 2001 they officially begin
meeting on 8-11-2001. They were founded by four youth in search of change. The
founding members were Mr. Jerry L. Morgan Jr., Chavon Stribling Marquita Mack,
and Kia Milan, in the summer of 2002  Erica Green Joined the group and took the
place of  Kia Milan as a founding member. The Marching Knights were founded on
the principals of Leadership, Dedication, Determination, Respect, and
Responsibility.  The founding members set down during the summer of 2001 and
started brainstorming on what they wanted to see in this new group?  What did they
want to do different?  What did they want to do the same? They looked at other
groups, and seen what they did wrong and what they were doing right and based
there decisions off of that. When they finished brainstorming, they came up with;  
The Marching Knights is dedicated to the achievement and advancement of all
youth by giving them something to do in a safe and caring environment helping
them to build positive leadership traits through training, which includes
self-discipline, personal responsibility and respect for self and others.  This
organization strongly believes obedience to parents and respect for their self is a
must.  We are committed to helping youth stay in school and church.  The Marching
Knights youth are leaders they set examples for others and have a positive attitude
at all times. Once They figured what they were about they figured out  how to do that
through drum and dance.  The first name they thought of naming the group was the
black knights, but then the founding four decided that they wanted a lot of diversity in
the group and the name did not fit with the diversity they were looking for in their
group. they decided they wanted to name their group something that reflected them
and their city and what they do, and  they came up with the Denver marching
Knights in spirit of the group ( the Kansas City Marching Cobras)  that gave them
the insight to want more and to seek change in what they were doing. They chose
the knight as their mascot because of what a Knight represented. which was honor,
loyalty, character, nobility, and respect..  They chose Blue  Black and Silver as their
official colors. The founding four had a vision of  what they expected things to be like
and exactly what they wanted for the group but as time went by the vision begin to
change.  The first Meeting of the Denver Marching Knights was held at the City of
Axum Park also known as Cherry Park.  The first meeting of DMK had 9 members
in attendance. they met for about 7 weeks and then practice died down due to no
drums. DMK was offered the opportunity to buy a set of drums from a high school in
the suburbs of Denver. The drums were 5,500 and DMK only had 250.00 to put
down for a deposit of the drums, and DMK knew they could not afford the full price
of the drums. They collaborated with another group to try and figure out how to raise
the money for the drums and that is how the family relationship of the Denver
Marching Knights and Gods Anointed Steppers began.  In February of 2002 Mr.
Morgan heard of an opportunity to apply for a grant to get money to purchase the
drum equipment , In March of that same year while checking up on the grant
application Mr Morgan talked to Mrs. Ladawn Sullivan - Jackson Who told him the
grant would be funded and asked how much time it would take to get the group
ready for their first performance, Mr. Morgan said it would only take a few weeks and
his prediction was right. The Marching Knights received their grant from the Denver
Foundation Strengthening Neighborhoods  Initiative in the amount of 5,000.00
which went towards the purchase of the drum equipment from the school some
additional drums from Rupps drums, and sticks and drum heads which helped
them along the way through their first year. Due to the color of our drums the color
of the group changed group changed to red and black. and  for their very first
performance they wore white t-shirts with black pants they have come along way
with uniforms. They then started practicing at Gospel Temple COGIC through the
help of there pastor Elder David Washington. There very first performance was held
on April 18th at the strengthening neighborhoods annual celebration and they went
on that year to do a total of 36 performances and win their first competition in June
of that year at the IBPOE Elks Midwest Region Drill team competition They won first
place for Drumming and second place for Dance. Which was a major
accomplishment. most of their performances were just the Marching Knights and
some of those performances were with their sister Group God's Anointed Steppers
for Christ Jesus. The Anointed Steppers was the non competition Group and the
Marching Knights were the Competition Group they formed a fantastic partnership.
That very same year four Marching Knights Members took a trip to Kansas City
Missouri to learn from their biggest Mentor Mr. Willie Arthur Smith of the Kansas City
Marching Cobras. The Members who went on that first trip was Jerry Morgan,
Quamaine Jackson, Shane Franklin, Erica Green, And Mrs. Jackson as their
Chaperon. That Is who and where the biggest influence of The Marching Knights
came from.  In 2003 the Marching Knights were growing and their current practice
place was getting too small so they began practicing at the East Denver YMCA, at
which time Ms. Michelle Calhoun came in to help with the Leadership of the
Marching Knights. With her help The Marching Knights were bigger then ever and
with the help of the Denver Foundation once again the Marching Knights bought
additional Drums to help with their growing program with a 28 member Drumline
and 52 Marchers the Marching knights were on their way The Marching knights not
only did performances by themselves again and they did performances with God's
Anointed Steppers.  That next year Mrs. Calhoun left the group and the marching
Knights was limited to practice space due to the closing of the East Denver YMCA, It
became a dream of the Marching Knights to get that center, but finances are not
that good for the Marching Knights. In 2004 the Marching Knights moved from the
East Denver YMCA to The Glenarm Recreation Center, under the direction of Mr.
Van Oliver (Skeeter). Also In 2004 the Marching Knights Gained another family
Member Mr. Robert Wagner and the Wichita Dynamic Steppers. Who they
constantly joined up with for out of town performances and who helped them with
style and dance along the way.  That partnership has stayed over the years and
many trophies and championships have been won together along the way.  Another
partnership that has stayed along the way is the partnership of the Denver
Foundation and The Marching Knights. There have been many people that have
been an intrigal part of the marching knights through the years and you can see our
thank you to them on our home page.
History
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Denver Marching Knights, Inc.